Get 50/50 Shared Care - Top 10 Tips
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Many of our clients come to us with depression and anxiety because they believe that they will not be able to spend a lot of time with their children. When it comes to shared care of your children, that is, a 50/50 care, there is a misconception that the court will always award mother the primary carer and father with time on the weekends only. This is simply not true.
Here are our top ten tips to gain shared care of your children:
1. Know Your Rights
Your job is to demonstrate to the court that shared care is, in fact, in “the best interests of the child.” As a father, your primary goal should be to fight as hard as you can to get the most time possible from the very start of the proceedings.
Whether you want equal or substantial time, you should be clear about your goals and push for more from the very beginning of the case. Remember, it is harder to settle for a temporary schedule and fight more for later, as by that time you are fighting an uphill battle.
Care of the children will always go to the better parent, it is your job to convince the court that you are the better parent and argue that it is in the best interests of the child to have equal time you.
2. Do Not Move Out of Your Matrimonial Home
If you have young children and the care of the children is in dispute, you should never leave the marital home before an arrangement to see your children has reached.
Move into a separate bedroom instead and try to ignore your spouse as much as possible to avoid conflict.
3. Start Collecting Evidence
Keep the evidence simple and credible.
Document your involvement and daily activities with your child and any concerning behaviour exhibited by the other parent.
Evidence can include: journals, emails, text messages, social media posts, voicemails etc.
4. Stay Out of Trouble And Maintain Emotional Stability
Fathers have a higher standard of behaviour to exhibit than the mothers due to the pro-mother bias in the family law system.
Limit your consumption of alcohol and drugs; it is preferable if you completely stop.
Do not get into altercations with anyone, as that will cause the court to question the level of your responsibility.
Most importantly, DO NOT allow your spouse to trick you into confrontation and especially do not engage in any form of violence (physical, emotion or sexual).
5. Communicate With Your Children
Additional considerations that may determine the outcome of your parenting case include:
- The child's views;
- The nature of the child’s relationship with each parent (or grandparent, sibling etc);
- The effect of change on the child;
- The practical difficulty of the child having contact with the other parent;
- Child’s personal characteristics; and
- Possible existence of family violence.
If your child is old enough then what the child feels about their father will often make or break a parenting case.
Any views expressed by a child must be taken into consideration to some extent under the Act. However, the weight that the child’s views will have on the final decision will, be affected by the child’s views, maturity and level of understanding.
Keep the lines of communication open with your children, show up to their school games, recitals and praise them. Help them with homework and play with them. You should expect your child to tell their mother everything you tell them. Do not criticise your spouse in the child’s presence.
Do not introduce your children to a woman you met a month ago! Your children might feel uncomfortable around the new woman and refuse to spend any time with you. Give them some time to handle the separation between you and their mother.
6. Continue to Pay Child Support
Do not bring up child support issues in the Family Court.
7. Never Plead With the Mother
Do not plead or reason with the mother to be more rational and sympathetic towards you. She will just feel like she is in power and more control.
8. Be Prepared For a Hard Battle
False accusations are very common in family law proceedings.
Often in our practice we see a parent who decides, that in order to win a parenting battle, the best course of action is to make false and severe allegations against the other parent.
In our experience, where allegations are serious, and the client hangs in long enough, these allegations can be proven false and shared parental responsibility granted.
9. Take Care of Yourself
Do not neglect your physical health.
Make a commitment to yourself, to take better care of your mind, body, and soul.
Court proceedings can be long and isolating, connect with extended family and friends.
Do not forget your spiritual and mental health; fill your mind with positive messages. Being close to God can also be a real strength for a majority of people.
10. Build Good Communication With Your Partner
The better your communication and relationship with your ex-partner, the more likely the court will award a 50/50 shared care arrangement.
You are dealing with a system that has always favoured mothers’ parenting rights over fathers, you will need a lawyer who will understand and help you achieve your goals from the very start.
At Familylaw4men, we believe that every father fighting for his right to see his children makes it easier for the next father behind him who refuses to be treated like a second-class parent. It is also a step towards correcting deeply ingrained and wrong societal attitudes towards parental care.
If you have any questions with respect to parenting arrangement of your children, please, contact us today for assistance on by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0405240204.